Catholic, Fallston cruise, set up showdown No. 1 Cubs improve to 9-0

Cougars rout Glen Burnie

September 27, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Top-ranked Catholic certainly leaves a lasting impression.

Well into the second game of last night's Glen Burnie Shootout tournament, all the talk was still centered around the Cubs' 5-0 victory over No. 9 Chesapeake-AA in the opener.

In the meantime, No. 6 Fallston was busy making a statement of its own against host Glen Burnie, coming away with a convincing 7-1 victory in the nightcap.

By night's end, all the conversation had turned to this afternoon's tournament final -- defending Class 3A-4A state champ Fallston vs. the Catholic League's finest. Game time is 3 p.m..

"We're excited. You always want the chance to play the top-ranked team. It will be a good experience," said Fallston coach Nancy Ferguson, whose Cougars improved to 6-1. "[Catholic] is strong all over the place. We'll need to mark them a little tighter than Chesapeake did because they move so well off the ball."

Catholic (9-0) had it all working right from the start yesterday with a patient midfield led by junior Allison Merkle constantly setting up their dangerous attack.

Senior Nicole Brooks and junior Rebecca Bieneman finished with poise, often making things look easy against a good defensive Chesapeake team.

Each had two goals and two assists as the Cubs took a 3-0 lead at the half and never looked back.

"We work really well on a big field and were able to spread it out. Our midfield really stepped up and created a lot of our goals," said Bieneman.

It was most apparent shortly before their second goal, when the Cubs, ranked fifth in the USA Today Top 25 national poll, put together eight straight passes before losing possession.

They quickly regained control, and senior midfielder Alison Healey sent a cross from the left side to Brooks, who headed it home for a 2-0 lead with 16: 45 left in the half.

"I don't think you can do anything about it," said Chesapeake coach Lin Sullivan. "They are ranked fifth in the nation, and it was certainly obvious. They played good defense, had great skills, and communicated well. Our girls didn't play that bad a game."

Fallston wasn't shy about finding the goal, either.

The Cougars got plenty of offense from sophomore Mary Amasio (two goals, two assists), senior Kelly Caine (two goals, one assist) and sophomore Gina Lattanzi (two goals) to get past over-matched Glen Burnie.

Glen Burnie (1-5) and Chesapeake (4-2-1) will get today's action started with the consolation game starting at 1 p.m.

Pub Date: 9/27/97

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